LOVE AND FREINDSHIP, AND
OTHER EARLY WORKS
by Jane Austen
Harmony Books; 118 pages; $8.95
For all their current popularity and lubricity, novel-romances are old, old stories. They began flooding the market in England during the last decades of the 18th century; they were part of the tide that engulfed the certainties of the Enlightenment. Unlike the newly invented gothic tale, which stressed the pleasures of terror, the sentimental romances emphasized the happy sensation of a good cry. They also quickly debased the emerging philosophical notion that feelings were the most reliable guide to truth. If so, reasoned the romancers, then the person with...